Digital marketers fuel the demise of the lunch hour

lunch-at-deskEveryone knows that the days of the long agency lunches are well and truly over, apart from a few die-hards, but it would appear that digital marketers are not without blame as they take a break of just 14 minutes – the shortest among any profession in the UK.
Not that bosses give a monkey’s, according to a study of office workers by Savoy Stewart, most encourage their staff to take a decent lunch-break as they feel it boosts productivity.
Even so, only one in five office wallahs will actually take the traditional lunch hour, a stark contrast to countries such as France, which sees the lunch hour as a key part of the working day.
The law allows for an hour interrupted 20-minute rest break after working over six hours, but those who are under 18 are entitled to 30 minutes if working above four-and-a-half hours. Some work contracts may even allow for additional breaks alongside lunch, like tea breaks.
But not only are Brits working through lunch, they are also working more overtime: spending an average of 5 extra hours at the office each week.
Some things never change though, while digital marketers take the shortest breaks, media and communications professionals take the longest, just 5 minutes short of their whole hour.
And while 27% of those surveyed said they took a shorter break to please their boss, in many cases this is counter-productive.
The CEO of one recruitment firm said: “Ultimately, it is their decision whether to take a break, everyone is different. But I would never see it as unfavourable. For me, I have to take a break to clear my mind.”
Meanwhile the boss of a digital marketing agency added: “I openly encourage my employees to take a break, to move from their desk and have a walk at lunch time, as it impacts so positively on productivity. I am considering taking employees to a monthly gym session just to get them on their feet.”

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